Scientists use kayaks to travel down a meltwater ravine on Petermann glacier. They towed a ground-penetrating radar which made a scan of the ice. In the years since we made this picture substantial pieces have broken off the glacier’s floating tongue.
Shot from a helicopter in the days before drones. Camera rigged underneath the helicopter and triggered via a cable.
Do you get seasick? I think everyone does to some degree. Some are better adapted to it, but I think there’s a point where even the most resilient sailors succumb to the power of the ocean.
In a few days l’ll cross an ocean system famous for its extremes -the Drake Passage, going from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula. Travellers have taken to asking: “Did you have a Drake lake, or a Drake shake?” such is the contrast. Right now I’m looking at windy.com to see what mood the ocean will be in.
Under the treaty that protects Antarctica there are guidelines for tourism. Guides and expedition leaders have to sit an exam each season. Overseen by @iaato_org the short test is taken by all registered field staff at the beginning of each season.
I had to sit the test last week for a project starting soon, it did get me thinking about the impact of tourism on the Peninsula. Kept me off Instagram while I revised for my test.
Swipe across for some sample questions, speculative answers in the comments 😉
Walrus hauled out on a beach on Svalbard. The picture made during an expedition at the end of the summer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’ve never seen so many walrus in one location. This picture looks close, but it’s taken with a long lens and cropped a little too. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This wasn’t the time to hang around too long. We weren’t invited to this important meeting. They had important things to discuss, like where the best clams were to be found and when the ice would return. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With @martinenckell and @wildphototravel on #svalbard
Crew members of the KV Svalbard, a Norwegian coastguard ship, ice strengthened for working in sea ice. These three sailors were taking a moment during loading before going out to sea, surrounded by the snow-dusted mountains overlooking the port of Longyearbyen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This picture accompanies a story in the fall print issue of @foreignpolicymag out now (and on the web) called Stretched Thin on Thin Ice written by Robbie Gramer. It’s worth reading if you’re interested in the future of the changing Arctic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This picture is from my first trip on the vessel, in the blue light of late winter 2011. Since then the crew of KV Svalbard have invited me back many times, always with a warm north Norwegian welcome. It’s been a privilege to see the Arctic through their keen eyes and appreciate the harsh landscape. Tusen takk for alle turene guys! 👍 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #arctic#svalbard#coastguard#norway🇳🇴#landscapephotography#mountains#snow
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It all started with snow ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Compressed under its own weight, buried by more snow. Winter on winter, the air is expelled, becoming denser with the years, compacted and pushed by the weight of yet more ice. Mass meets gravity, flowing to the edge of the ice sheet, breaking off the glacier edge. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Falling into the sea, exploding and breaking into more pieces, blown by the wind and carried by the currents, buoyant and washed over by the swell. Freshwater meets saltwater and saltwater wins. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It all started with snow.. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ice#iceberg#blueice#climate#arctic#svalbard#earthsystems#glaciology
Meltwater cascading into the ocean from the surface of Austfonna ice cap. Brought to the edge by a meltwater ravine. The tiny bird (if you can see it!) looking at the colouring, is likely a kittiwake (it’s usually a kittiwake ;-) Austfonna is one of the largest ice caps (small ice sheets) in the northern hemisphere. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photographed just a few weeks ago with @martinenkell and the crew of MS Origo. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ice#melt#meltwater#climate#climatechange#arctic#nature#landscapephotography
Sibling polar bear cubs playfighting on the ice, shortly after devouring a seal. These two were from a family of three cubs we watched with their mother. She’s done well to raise them this far, as it’s rare to see three cubs make it into their second year. Soon they’ll leave their mother -in this condition they’ll likely thrive. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Swipe across to see their location (arrowed) on the edge of the small area of sea ice which barely covered the Arctic Ocean this summer. Also note how far the edge of the sea ice (in red) has retreated from the coast of Spitsbergen, where the family would have emerged from the maternity den some 1.5 years ago. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photographed from the deck of the Origo last week with polar bear whisperer @martinenckell of @wildphototravel#Arctic#Polarbear#ice#climate#climatechange#climatechangeisreal#svalbard#wildlife#wildlifephotography